Pat Burrell’s three-run home run will help keep the Phillies in first place in the East before the All-Star break as the Phillies defeat the Diamondbacks, 6-3. The D-backs would score the game’s first run in the top of the second as Cole Hamels would throw a fastball on a 1-2 pitch that Chad Tracy would hit out of the park for a solo home run, his fifth home run of the season, to give the D-backs a 1-0 lead. The D-backs would increase their lead in the fourth as Hamels would give up a two out RBI single to Robby Hammock, scoring Chris Young, who has gotten on base earlier with a bunt single, and has gone to second on a Chris Burke infield single, to give the D-backs a 2-0 lead. Normally, that would be the ballgame, as the D-backs’ starter, Brendon Webb was getting the Phillies’ batters out with a nasty changeup, which he was throwing in conjunction with his curveball. But, it wouldn’t be so today, as the Phillies would refuse to go down easily. In the fifth, the Phillies would cut the D-backs lead to 2-1, as with one out, Hamels would hit a RBI double, which would score Pedro Feliz, who has earlier singled, all the way from first base as the ball went into the gap in left center field. Hamels would then keep the score at 2-1 as he stopped two attempts by the D-backs to break the game open. In the sixth, after Mark Reynolds would get on base with the only walk that Hamels would give up and then goes to second on Tracy’s single, Hamels would end the threat by first striking out Young and Burke, and then getting Hammock to fly out to right. Then in the seventh, Webb would lead off the inning with a single, and then move to second on Stephen Drew’s single. But, the Phillies would get the first out as Conor Jackson pushes a hard bunt down the third base line that would be picked up by Feliz, who would then touch third base, getting Webb out, but is unable to double up Jackson, while Drew goes to second on the play. The next batter, Orlando Hudson, would then get a single deep to right, which would hit the wall in front of Geoff Jenkins. This would turn out to be good luck for the Phillies, as the D-backs’ third base coach, unable to tell whether Jenkins has caught the ball or not, would stop Drew at third base, which in turn would force Jackson to stop at second, as Chase Utley would relay Jenkins’ throw to catcher Chris Coste. As soon as he has caught it, Coste would see Hudson, who has thought that he was going to get a double on his hit, trapped near second base, since Johnson was still standing on the bag. After looking over at Drew, he threw the ball to Ryan Howard. Howard, while also keeping an eye on Drew, to make sure thst he wouldn’t score during the rundown, forced Hudson back towards second. When Hudson tried to run out of the basepath to keep from being tagged by Howard, he was automatically called out by the umpire, for the second out of the inning, with men on second and third. Hamels would then end the threat by striking out Reynolds for his eighth strike out of the game. In the Phillies’ half of the seventh, with two outs and a man on second, Jimmy Rollins would get a RBI double off of Webb, scoring Carlos Ruiz, who was pinch running for Coste, who has earlier singled, that would tie the game at two all. After Ryan Madson would put down the D-backs in the top of the eighth, the Phillies went to work on the D-backs’ reliever Chad Qualls. Utley would start the inning off with a single to center, then would go to second on Howard’s single to left. With two men on, Qualls would throw a 2-2 slider to Pat Burrell which Burrell would hit to left, into the flower garden, for a three-run homer, for his twenty-third home run of the season, to give the Phillies a 5-2 lead. Two batters later, with one out, Feliz would hit a solo home run, his twelfth home run of the year, to give the Phillies a 6-2 lead. In the ninth inning, with Brad Lidge pitching, Hudson would hit a RBI single, scoring Emilio Bonifacio, who has earlier singled, to make it 6-3 Phillies. But that would be it as Lidge would end the game by striking out Reynolda.
Cole Hamels would get a no-decision, pitching seven innings, as he gives up only two earned runs on eleven scattered hits, while striking out eight D-backs. Ryan Madson would get the win, as he pitched a shut out inning while giving up one hit. His record is now 2-0 with a 2.77 ERA. Brad Lidge would pitch the ninth, giving up an earned run on two hits. Brandon Webb would also get a no-decision as he goes seven innings, giving up two earned runs on seven hits while he struck out six. Chad Qualls would take the lost as he goes only a third of an inning, giving up four earned runs on four hits. His record is now 2-7 with a ERA of 3.89. Connor Robertson would go two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits.
With the win, the Phillies will stay in first place in the National League East, no matter what either the Marlins or the Mets will do tonight. The Phillies’ players will now spend the next four days, except for Chase Utley and Brad Lidge who will both be in Yankee Stadium on Tuesday night for the All-Star Game, trying to relax and get refresh, before they play their first series of the second half against the Marlins in Miami on July 18.
The Phillies (52-44), with the win, remain in first place as the 30 major league teams head into the All-Star break. They presently lead the Mets by a game as the Mets prepare to play the Rockies later tonight. The Phillies now lead the Marlins by a game and a half as they lost to the Dodgers. The Braves remain six and a half games behind the Phillies after their win against the Padres today.
Edit: The Phils’ lead over the Mets stay at half as the Mets’ defeated the Rockies with ease. (I need to start drinking more caffeine if I want to avoid making such factual errors late at night.)